Technology advances, thought lags | ideas

Midnight of the century: When Victor Serge published the book on this topic in 1939, the year of the German-Soviet Pact and the dismemberment of Poland, it was literally midnight, and an irreversible night that would last for five years.

Isn't it midnight in our century? There are two active battles. Ukraine has already mobilized economic and military aid from parts of the world, and the conflict risks escalating and spreading. Russia…

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Midnight of the century: When Victor Serge published the book on this topic in 1939, the year of the German-Soviet Pact and the dismemberment of Poland, it was literally midnight, and an irreversible night that would last for five years.

Isn't it midnight in our century? There are two active battles. Ukraine has already mobilized economic and military aid from parts of the world, and the conflict risks escalating and spreading. Russia has not been able to annex the country, but it is opposed in previously separatist and Russian-speaking regions. The blockade has weakened it somewhat, but it has stimulated its scientific and technological development, especially in the military sector. The war has already had far-reaching consequences: autonomy from the West to varying degrees of the Global South and consolidation of the Russia-China bloc.

A new focus of tension opened up in the Middle East after the massacre by Hamas on October 7, 2023, followed by Israeli bombing of Gaza. These killings, along with harassment and annexationist declarations in the West Bank, have raised the latent Palestinian issue. They demonstrate the urgency, necessity and impossibility of decolonizing what remains of Arab Palestine and creating a Palestinian state.

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The business of war. An engineer at a tank at a factory in Sangwon, South Korea, in September 2023, whose exports have tripled since the start of the Ukrainian war.Jung Yeon-jae (AFP/Getty Images)

Since no pressure is or will be applied to Israel to reach a two-state solution, we can only expect an intensification or escalation of this terrible conflict. It's a sad lesson of history: the descendants of a people persecuted by Christians for centuries and then xenophobic can become the West's persecutors and advanced bastions in the Arab world.

Thinking has become blind

These wars exacerbate an accumulation of crises affecting the countries fueled by bitter enmity between the three empires of the United States, Russia, and China. Crises reinforce each other principle Environment, economy, politics, society and civilization are increasing.

Environmental degradation affects human societies through urban and rural pollution, exacerbated by industrial agriculture. The dominance of unbridled profit (one of the main causes of the environmental crisis) is increasing inequality in all countries and across the planet. Especially because of the growth of selfishness and the disappearance of traditional unity, the qualities of our civilization have deteriorated and its defects have increased.

Descendants of persecuted people can become persecutors

Democracy is in crisis on all continents: gradually being replaced by authoritarian regimes with means of digitally controlling populations and individuals, tending to create submissive societies that can be described as neo-authoritarian. Globalization has not created unity and the United Nations is increasingly divided.

This paradoxical situation is part of the general universal paradox of humanity. The exponential growth of scientific and technological progress in all fields is responsible for the worst setbacks of our century. It was this advance that allowed the scientific organization of the Auschwitz extermination camp; One that allowed the design and production of more destructive weapons, up to the first atomic bomb; It makes wars increasingly deadly; This, driven by the desire for profit, created the planet's environmental crisis.

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Catastrophic changes. A child in the middle of one of the usual floods of torrential rain in Tolo, Somalia on November 25. Hassan Ali Elmi (AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

It should be noted that the progress of knowledge through the barriers between different fields, by multiplying and dividing itself, has retarded thinking, it has become blind. In an increasingly technological world linked to the mastery of computation, advances in knowledge have made it impossible to imagine the complexity of reality, especially human realities. This leads to a return to obstinacy and fanaticism, and a crisis of morality due to the rise of hatred and idolatry.

Lack of faith

We are headed for potential disaster. Is it a disaster? This word repels evil and gives an illusory peace. The principle The planet we live in is an anthropological crisis: it's a crisis of humanity that cannot become human.

There was a time – not too long ago – when we could contemplate a change of course. It seems like it's too late. Of course, the impossible and, above all, the unexpected can happen. We do not know whether the world situation is pessimistic or truly pessimistic. This means that with or without hope, with or without despair, we must go to resistance. The word inevitably evokes the resistance of the years of occupation (1940-1945), which lacked all the optimism that could be expected after the defeat of 1940, its beginnings, otherwise very modest.

Advances in science and technology are responsible for the worst setbacks of our century

The lack of anticipatory hope is similar today, but the conditions are different. We are not currently under an enemy military occupation: we are dominated by powerful political and economic forces, and threatened by the establishment of a submissive society. We are condemned to experience a fight between two imperial trolls and the possibility of a third war. We are being dragged into a race towards disaster.

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Brotherhood, Life and Love

The first and fundamental opposition is the opposition of the Spirit. It means resisting the threat of every lie masquerading as truth and the contagion of every collective addiction. It means never giving in to the illusion of collective responsibility of a people or an ethnic group. It requires resisting hatred and contempt. It imposes a concern for understanding the complexity of issues and phenomena rather than accommodating a partial or one-sided view. This requires research, verification of information and acceptance of uncertainties.

The all-seeing eye. A camera monitors the movement of people in Shanghai, China on March 31.VCG (Getty Images)

Resistance refers to the preservation or creation of communities with relative autonomy (agriculture) and social and solidarity economic networks. Resistance involves the consolidation of associations dedicated to unity and the rejection of hatred. Resistance prepares young generations to think and act in favor of the forces of union, brotherhood, life and love that we can think of as Polemus, that we can think of as Eros, in the face of forces of displacement, disintegration, conflict and death. and Thanatos.

The union of Eros and the forces of the awakened and responsible spirit will drive our resistance against slavery, depravity and lies. Tunnels are not endless, potential is not certain, and the unexpected is always possible.

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